Carnegie Mellon University

2021-2022 Doctoral Internship Program for Health Service Psychologyat CMU CaPS

Setting

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon is a global research university with more than 12,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff. Recognized for its world-class arts and technology programs, collaboration across disciplines, and innovative leadership of education in the fields of Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Public Policy & Information Systems, and Science, Carnegie Mellon is consistently ranked among the top 25 universities in the United States.

Carnegie Mellon is situated in the heart of Pittsburgh, a city that has reinvented itself as a hub of innovation and information and life sciences technology. The city boasts nine colleges and universities, museums, opera, a world-class symphony, and several professional sports teams. Pittsburgh is known for its diverse neighborhoods, affordable housing, eclectic restaurant scene, lively arts and music communities, and recreation opportunities that abound in the city’s more than 2000 acres of city parks and on its three rivers. Pittsburgh offers a quality of life that has been internationally recognized, prompting the city’s ranking as America’s most livable city in recent years.

The Carnegie Mellon University Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CaPS) operates within the Division of Student Affairs (DOSA) in a university setting which offers significant supports for students beyond that of the counseling center.  Collaborating with the greater university community affords a trainee exposure to the multidisciplinary aspects of working in a university counseling center.   CaPS provides comprehensive psychological services to the campus community; both graduate and undergraduate students receive services through CaPS. While direct clinical service is a significant focus of CaPS, the center also provides other services to the university community including consultation and outreach programming.

Training Opportunity

The doctoral internship program for Health Service Providers is a full time position for a full calendar year starting on July 31st each year. Interns accrue a minimum of 1750 hours at the conclusion of the training year.  Services at the counseling center are provided primarily between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; there may be occasions when interns provide clinical services and outreach activities after hours and on weekends. All interns are based out of the counseling center, but may spend time at other sites on campus (i.e., offering outreach programming). 

The doctoral psychology internship for Health Service Providers program is designed to allow the doctoral interns in psychology to experience a university counseling center at its full breadth.  This includes clinical and support services provided by a typical university counseling center. Clinical services include intake evaluations, psychotherapy, crisis/triage counseling, consultation, case management, and group therapy. In addition to their clinical services, interns may gain experience in designing and providing workshops and related outreach programming, clinical supervision and there may be opportunities for other projects (e.g., an administrative research opportunity).  During the academic year, up to 50% of a typical week is dedicated to clinical and direct services; this will decrease during academic breaks and the summer months. 

CaPS training program is a member of APPIC, and is NOT currently APA accredited.

CaPS offers a range of support, seminars and professional development activities throughout the training year. In addition to 2 hour of individual supervisions, psychology interns participate in psychiatric rounds, the Decolonizing Critical Consciousness seminar, the trainee clinical discussion group, case conference, the trauma seminar, interns’ peer support group, triage and crisis supervision, supervision of supervision, and other training activities. 

Candidates with specific interests in the intersection of UCC work, depth oriented psychotherapy, and social justice orientation are encouraged to apply. CaPS is committed to recruit diverse candidate. Individuals with open curiosity, interests in giving and receiving feedback, and flexibility will be the best fit for this program.

If a candidate believes they would be a good fit for the training program but have not yet met one of the minimum requirements, such as the hours, the candidate is still encouraged to apply and to address in the cover letter how they are a good fit for the training program despite not yet meeting a requirement. The potential impact of COVID-19 will be taken into consideration with hours accrual as it is understandable that Candidates' abilities to acquire direct contact may have been greatly impacted.

Program Training Resources

CaPS office is located at 1060 Morewood Avenue, Morewood Garden E-Tower, Room 236; Pittsburgh PA 15213.  Each psychology intern is assigned their own office within the center equipped with a desk, computer, chairs, and lamps. Interns have access to administrative support, a copier/printer/scanner, and standard office supplies. Psychology interns are considered a CMU employee and have access to all employee benefits. Interns are supervised by licensed psychologists and senior training staff.

Training Philosophy

CaPS views the doctoral psychology internship year as an extension from one’s previous training experiences with added opportunity to expand and hone one’s psychotherapeutic skills via supportive reflection on clinical, personal and professional development.  The training program is designed to support interns to develop into well-rounded entry level health service psychologist as a generalist.  To this end, our training model emphasizes 1): attending to and supporting the intern’s developmental needs; 2): developing the intern’s professional and personal identity and self-awareness; and 3) integrating practice and clinical theory. 

Our training program is developmental in nature and as such is sensitive to the individual needs of trainees with varying levels and breaths of knowledge and expertise.  Training experiences are built up gradually throughout the year and based upon the trainee’s readiness as gauged by their supervisor, the Program Director of the CaPS Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology, and the Executive Director.  

Following a developmental framework, a trainee can expect training to include vicarious and experiential learning.  Didactic structure is set up to additionally offer the explicit opportunity to more deeply integrate theory and practice.

Course of Training

Our internship year starts on July 31st each year, and the month of August is viewed as a time for orienting interns to the CMU culture, CaPS culture, and the core components of our training program (brief psychotherapy, triage, and outreach). In addition to didactic and experiential training that prepares interns for providing triage and consultation services, interns are further oriented to diverse components of services provided at CaPS, such as group and emerging initiatives at CaPS. Didactic and experiential learning utilizes an apprenticeship, scaffolding model at the beginning weeks and months of the training year.

After the August orientation periods, interns enter the Fall semester with a full clinical and training schedule. For their clinical services, interns receive support from their primary supervisor and members of clinical training staff, including the intern’s TCC supervisor, group supervisors, outreach supervisors, the training director, and the entire team of administrative staff.

Training activities are built to gradually deepen interns’ understanding and critical reflections on the materials and topics in the Fall and Spring semester. Interns participate in various seminars (e.g., didactic seminars with rotating presenters and topics, trainee clinical discussion group seminar, decolonizing critical consciousness seminar, and the trauma-informed therapy seminar), and professional development activities (e.g., staff meeting, psychiatric rounds, peer support group, case conferences).

Socially, interns are offered many opportunities to learn and work with other trainees and various staff at CaPS to enrich their interdisciplinary professional experiences and skills. For examples, interns participate in various center-wide staff enrichment activities (e.g., retreat, fun lunch, birthday celebrations, and holiday gatherings).

With a specific focus on social justice training as an integral part of iterns’ development, interns are encouraged and supported to reflect on their own intersectional identities when providing clinical services via consultation with their supervisors. The clinical services, seminar structure, and support offerings are also structured to orient the interns around their current stage of multicultural awareness, their professional developmental growing edges, and how they intersect with working within systems.

It is expected that interns will be empowered to function with increased sense of agency and independence as they move through the training year.

At the end of the internship year, interns will be involved in a variety of year-end activities, including offering feedback to the training program about their training experience, participating in the farewell ceremony, and saying goodbye to important relationships they have established throughout the training year. Interns are expected to make appropriate follow-up plans for all of their clinical and non-clinical activities in consultation with their supervisors. Interns’ strengths and ongoing areas of professional growth will be highlighted with the intern at the end of the training year.

Treatment Philosophy

CaPS practices brief psychotherapy that aims to provide CMU students with an opportunity for psychological growth and to meet their immediate needs. Our treatment approach is developmental in nature, informed by psychodynamic theories and grounded in multicultural attunement to human experience. In an effort to engage students with differing levels of need, a variety of interventions are employed with flexibility. The core values of our therapeutic work include: emphasis on the therapeutic relationship; respect, humility, curiosity about diverse human experiences; exploration of dynamics and styles of relating to self and others; and the identification of patterns in behaviors, relationships, thoughts and feelings.

Clinical Activities

Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy
The opportunity to provide short and long-term counseling/psychotherapy under intensive supervision is a unique feature of the training program. The nature of counseling center work ebbs and flows, but interns can expect, on average, to carry 17 - 20 ongoing clients per week during the academic year. Interns are expected to video-tape and review all therapy sessions. Two hours of individual supervision are provided each week with interns’ primary supervisor. Interns are expected to review their videotapes with their supervisors.

Intake Assessment
Each intern will perform individual intake assessments and clinical consultations as part of their clinical training.  Interns hone their assessment skills and clinical decision making abilities through this process.  Intake assessment training will occur during the orientation process as well as throughout the year under individual supervision.

Triage, Consultation, and Case Management

Starting in September, interns will have the opportunity to work directly with our Triage, Consultation, and Case Management (TCC) Team.  Interns are an integral member of CaPS staff, hence for four hours every week, interns provide emergency services/walk-in services to students in crisis. After the orientation to the TCC services, supervision of this experience will be provided by seasoned TCC clinician (1 hr/week) and Assistant Director of Triage, Case Management, and Consultation.

Outreach

Interns are expected participate in outreach activities at CaPS throughout the training year. At the beginning of the training years, interns will be trained to provide assigned outreach activities via an apprenticeship model. Additionally, interns are expected to participate in at least three outreach programs per semester.  Interns may engage in the development of outreach programming and be involved in the coordination of outreach requests from the university community. Due to the fluctuating nature of outreach requests, consultation and supervision with the Outreach Coordinator will occur on an ad hoc basis after the general orientation to the Outreach program.

Group Therapy

Interns are oriented to the Group program at CaPS and assessed for fit and interests in providing Group Therapy. Much like other components of clinical activities, interns’ training and development in the area of Group Therapy follows an apprenticeship model with scaffolding support by their group supervisor, who usually co-lead the assigned Group with the intern.  While interns may initially join a pre-established group, there are opportunity for interns to create and lead a group of their specific interests and expertise at the later portion of the training year.

Psychiatric Rounds

Psychiatric rounds are held every Tuesday as a space to consult with the psychiatrist regarding on-going clinical cases.  Interns participate in weekly psychiatric rounds with their primary supervisors.

Supervision

Interns receive training in theory and practices of providing clinical supervision.

Depending on developmental stage, availability, interests, and readiness, interns may gain experiences in supervising practicum students.

Supervision and Training

Individual Supervision

Each intern receives two hours of individual psychotherapy supervision per week with a primary supervisor. The primary supervisor is a clinical psychologist with the role of supporting an intern’s ongoing growth and development throughout the training year, in addition to supervising the intern’s individual psychotherapy cases. Consistent with CaPS treatment and training philosophy, clinical supervision is developmental in nature and informed by psychodynamic theory and practices. Intern can expect supervision to be depth oriented, dynamic, and relational.  Supervision is a place for the intern to examine the therapist-client relationship, to observe the emergence of feelings and thoughts as it pertains to clinical work, and to engage in reflection on areas of personal and professional growth. In addition reviewing recorded video of clinical session, supervision may involve discussions and open curiosity about all forms of differences between the trainee and the supervisors within systems. Discussions about differences and power dynamics may inform how similar processes could emerge in clinical, institutional, and larger socio-cultural context.

TCC Supervision

Psychology interns receive one hour of weekly supervision from their TCC supervisors. TCC supervisors oversee interns’ cases that came through triage, case management, and consultation services. In addition to receiving clinical supervision on the cases, interns can expect to gain knowledge and experiences about diverse resources and systems within and beyond CaPS and CMU. TCC supervision is informed by developmental theories and social justice principles. 

Group Supervision

Psychology interns co-leading a Group receive supervision from CaPS staff who is typically the co-leader of the group. The group supervisor is a source of support for the interns during the group sessions while overseeing the related programming, planning, and refining process of the specific Group. Group supervision is informed by Group theories with multicultural attunement.

Supervision of supervision

Psychology interns participate in weekly 1-hour supervision of supervision group with experiential components of learning about supervision. Supervision of supervision is informed by supervision theories and techniques with attunement to power relations, diversity, and multicultural issues.

Training Seminars

As part of the comprehensive training program at CaPS, members of the training cohort participates in weekly training seminars for the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Didactic Seminar

The weekly didactic seminar is coordinated by members of the training committee, and led by rotating staff at CaPS for the Fall semester. The weekly, one-hour Didactic presentations and discussions are intended to contribute to trainees’ overall professional development and to the development of their professional identities. The focus of the didactic presentations are the theoretical, applied, and professional aspects of the practice of Health Service Psychology and that of University Counseling Center work. Additionally, interns can expect to reflect on the application to diversity and social justice topics with the weekly presentations guided and prompted by the presenter.

Decolonizing Critical Consciousness (previously the Multicultural) Seminar

This seminar focuses on developing a decolonized critical consciousness into the relationship between psychology, culture, and power. This seminar connects the personal with the socio-political to understand both external systems of oppression and the ways they are internalized by individuals and cultural systems. This seminar focuses on differences of power, access and opportunity. In so doing, participants are invited to look up the power hierarchy, where inequalities are embedded in systems and structures that privilege the few at the expense of many.

Trauma Seminar

This seminar is an integral part of CaPS internship training program. With the objective of increasing interns’ attunement in trauma-informed care, the purpose of the weekly 1-hour seminar is to introduce, discuss, and critically reflect on existing literature on theories and treatment approaches for victims and survivors of various forms of violence, including interpersonal violence, community-level violence, and socio-political violence. The covered topics include: the theory of complex trauma, neurobiology and co-morbidity of trauma, the trauma recovery model, trauma treatment approaches, sociopolitical trauma and community healing, and trauma in cultural/historical context.

Case Conference

Interns participate in case conference in the spring semesters with CaPS staff. Participants of case conferences take turn to present a case. The cases may be a client in ongoing therapy, a case encounter in triage or consultation context, a case of a group, or an outreach experience. In addition to presentation skills, interns gain experiences in requesting, receiving, and offering feedback to others, consistent with professional consultation practices. Presenters are asked to present cases and paid attention to issues related to diversity, therapeutic process (e.g., transference and countertransference), systems, and beyond.

Trainee Clinical Discussion Group

This weekly, open discussion group for CaPS trainees provides participants the opportunity to give voice to their experiences as clinicians, which may include working with particular clients, questions of developing professional identity, possible tensions within the systems where work is conducted or within the systems clients find themselves affected by, emerging ethical dilemmas, frameworks for understanding psychological and interpersonal functioning, biases and insights that may be operating given the clinician’s personal history, cultural background, etc.  The group’s facilitators are present and available to offer reflections, assist with group interactions, identify themes, and secure the safety of the group’s process. Group participants are invited to bring a supportive stance toward other members of the group and stay open-minded with an attunement to one’s own internal processes.  Ideally, the group will form a working community that supports clinical development for its members by establishing a culture in which disclosure is welcomed and where privacy is safeguarded, and by cultivating a lived sense of securing collegial support for the often-difficult work we face with our clients and within our encompassing professional contexts. 

Evaluation Process

Interns receive feedback from staff as colleagues on an ongoing and in vivo basis. To encourage bi-directional learning, interns are encouraged to provide feedback to their supervisor and staff at CaPS on an ongoing basis.

There will be a mid-year and end-of-year formal evaluation for each intern. The formal evaluation are written and discussed between the intern and their primary supervisors. The evaluation will be based on internship goals, expectations, and objectives. Consistent with scientific principles and the core of Health Service Psychology, evaluations of the interns are assessed in the following nine areas:

  1. Research
  2. Ethical and legal standards
  3. Individual and cultural diversity
  4. Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors
  5. Communication and interpersonal skills
  6. Assessment
  7. Intervention
  8. Supervision
  9. Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills

At CaPS, all training staff meets quarterly to share observations and feedback about interns’ performance, and interns may receive additional feedback at these additional touch points.

Application and Selection

CaPS utilizes the APPI application system through APPIC. Visit the APPIC website to find out more about the AAPI Online Application. The application deadline for our program is November, 15th, 2020. Our APPIC membership number is 2279.

Required Doctoral Preparation:

  • completed a minimum of at least 500 direct hours in which at least 400 of those hours are doctoral hours of intervention (excluding assessment);
  • passed comprehensive exams;
  • experience with individual therapy
  • curiosity and interests in learning about: (a) UCC works, (b) psychodynamic theory and practices, and (c) social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion topics

Preferred Experiences and Qualification:

  • previous university or college counseling center experience;
  • demonstrated interests and commitment for social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion issues (e.g., social engagement project, completion of graduate-level diversity course, etc.)
  • experiences in psychodynamic theory and practices
  • experiences with group therapy, outreach presentations, triage, and assessment
  • proposal of dissertation by the interview date

Required materials when applying through the APPIC portal:

  • Completed APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI) form. The AAPI may be downloaded from the APPIC website.
  • The “cover letter” or “letter of interest,” should describe your qualifications and professional experience that you believe make you a good match with our site. It also should highlight your specific goals for internship.
  • Current vita
  • Official transcripts for all graduate work
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two from supervisors familiar with recent clinical work

Interviews may take place in person or virtually via Zoom. Selected applicants can expect to be notified by December 15, 2020.

*The Counseling Center adheres to the procedures established by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) for notifying candidates. Internship offers will be coordinated through the APPIC Internship Matching Program. This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking related information from any intern applicant. For information on this program and all forms associated with the Program please visit the APPIC website: www.appic.org.

Stipend and Benefits:

The stipend for the internship year is $30,000 and interns receive the same health, vision, dental, and PTO benefits as regular full-time staff. Please see the full list of staff benefits on CMU human resource website.  

Application Inquiries

Please direct application inquiries to:

Mengchun Chiang, PhD,
Program Director of the CaPS Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

Counseling and Psychological Services
Morewood Gardens E Tower, Room 236
Carnegie Mellon University
1060 Morewood Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15213
412-268-2922
mengchun@andrew.cmu.edu